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Thunder Over Evans celebrates the military, veterans

Aiken Standard - 5/18/2022

May 18—With fireworks lighting up the Augusta skyline, Thunder Over Evans returns to celebrate Armed Forces Day.

The free event will be held at Evans Towne Center Park on Saturday. Partnering with Forces United, a post military service for veterans, the family friendly event aims to bring the community together.

"Behind the Masters, it may be one of the largest events that happens in the CSRA," said Shane Thompson, one of the event organizers. "If you look online and read people's reactions, it's a local favorite. We have people that drive from Virginia, from Tennessee, from Florida, from all over South Carolina, all over Georgia.

The will feature local food vendors, a performance by the Party Crashers band and end the night with a large pyrotechnics display.

"Usually when you think of fireworks, you sit from a far distance... we shoot our fireworks off at a lower level because of the area that we are located in so the impact and the percussive experience is right up next to the people and it is almost the end of our show," Thompson said. "It is almost an adrenaline show. We have fireballs, shock waves and things like that that happen. Of course with that being said, we do ask that people that have and deal with PTSD plan to exit prior to the fireworks show and that starts at 9:15 p.m."

The event, according to Thompson, is one of the largest privately funded military appreciation events in the U.S. He believes these community events, especially for military families, are vital.

"We celebrate each of the armed forces branches and all of those veterans and active duty soldiers are invited to be celebrated," Thompson said. "It is a cool union of military and the public coming together."

A military salute, a message from Fort Gordon and military brass will start at 6:15 p.m. Later during the pyrotechnics display, America's Got Talent golden buzzer winner Verge Aero will add a 10 minute show.

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Samantha Winn covers the city of North Augusta, with a focus on government and community oriented business. Follow her on Twitter: @samanthamwinn and on Facebook and Instagram: @swinnnews.


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